Coronavirus (Covid-19) Staring At Four Walls: Why We Need To Remember Those In Emergency Accommodation

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is now well and truly the hottest topic of the moment, social media feeds and timelines are littered with stories and accounts from those in the community either infected or worried about infection of the Coronavirus.

The government have announced measures for ‘at risk’ groups to self isolate for the next three weeks, so this has gotten me thinking about the homeless people across the city and country who will be in lockdown and staring at four walls. This is mostly for those in Emergency or Homeless Hostels but also those living in Temporary Accommodation and Vulnerable.

Back in 2016 I lived in Percival Terrace, which is an Emergency Accommodation self contained hostel in Brighton. We had very little in our rooms, their was no access to the internet and the property was quite unhygienic. Thankfully I’ve since moved on, but those still in emergency accommodation still need a voice; sadly I am getting contacted by people living in homelessness accommodation across the city worrying about the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis and how this could and in some cases, already is affecting them. So I thought I would blog again and I hope this helps.

We already know that hardly anyone nowadays qualifies for homelessness accommodation unless they have some vulnerability, in my time I have seen people suffering with cancer, those with addictions, people with mental and physical disabilities and loads of smokers with pre existing respiratory issues. This means they are currently high risk. 

Along with this demographic we also have parents with young children some with newborns. So this is a concern.

The mental health side to homelessness is complicated, many are at risk now of contracting the Coronavirus. But many will suffer more from the poverty and stress related to the coronavirus crisis and this is what worries me. 

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Is Bleeding The Homeless Dry

With many in homelessness accommodation living on low incomes or disability benefits, but also lots likely now off work, they will be using more utilities such as electricity, which in some accommodations such as Baron Homes, will hit already cash poor people even harder. I call on all private landlords to suspend Service Charges with immediate effect. This will put more money in the hands of those people living in Emergency Accommodation and Hostels in and outside of the city.

Landlords should not evict any tenants at this time, they should work with the council and community groups to better inform residents on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Crisis. We need to be able to provide support as and where residents need it. It would be good for the council to adopt to Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition Demands for the Homeless

The Discretionary Social Fund needs to be utilised to help those in need. Our local charity groups could make up survival packs and stock vital items such as nappies, baby food and cleaning products for those in most need

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – A Lockdown will Leave Residents Bored to Death

We want people to listen to the best advice, we all want to see this nightmare end but lets remember another one starts for those living in Emergency Accommodation, our cities accommodations can already be a dreary place to live and spend your time at the best of times. Most people if they are lucky enough to have friends and family living nearby will leave during the day and often only sleep or spend time in the accommodation at night. 

Some refuse to shower there and opt for friends and families help due the the conditions in shared bathrooms or lack of facilities and hygiene. If and when a lockdown comes though I am extremely worried about the residents’s general mental health and mood, we are hearing day centres are closing and food banks have run out of food, leaving residents in panic already. What are they do also do with boredom? 

Homeless people don’t have much, especially to leave in insecure emergency accommodation rooms. Many will go mad, no Television, nothing to keep them occupied, Some will be lucky enough to have a laptop or smart phone, but may not have access to internet. 

With an already high risk of self harm, suicide and issues around addictions, it begs belief what a lock down will do? who will be supporting people during this crisis? what do the parents do? The council have been very quiet as have the cities councillors but these issues need to be acknowledged. 

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Residents Are Starving Hungry

Its already a challenge to eat properly in emergency accommodation, most rooms only have a Microwave, Fridge ( No Freezer) and Sink. The everyday person right now is in the position to buy frozen food for back up supplies, but those in emergency cant do this. They often have to shop each day and are struggling right now, maybe much more so than the average Brighton and Hove resident. 

The Council Must ensure landlords supply residents with freezers in their rooms in addition to a fridge. 

The Council Must get financial resources to the vulnerable.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Equipping our Most Vulnerable

Looking back if I was living in emergency now, today during this crisis, I would be having anxiety and panic attacks about the hygiene in the buildings and crisis unfolding. I cant imagine how everyone is coping. I would like the council and landlords to equip staff with the protection equipment and step up regular cleaning. Give residents masks, make sure people can open their windows. If we can get them Antibacterial Gels. 

If there are cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) reported within an emergency accommodation building, then there needs to be a council action plan, reviewed and agreed by community groups and councillors on housing committee. This needs to be briefed out urgently!

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Local Support and Useful Information For The Cities Homeless

Times will be tough but there is hope and if you are reading this and living in emergency or temporary accommodation and need help here is a list of services you can access right now. There is also a Facebook Group Mutual Aid Covid-19 Facebook Group here.

Emergency & Temporary Accommodation Action Group Facebook page

You can access Sussex Homeless Support Facebook Group here, or donate here

Apply for the Social Discretionary Fund Here

Universal Credit and Benefits Advice Can be Found Here

Latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) WHO (World Health Organisation) Updates Here

Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Staying Fit During The Lockdown

Staying fit will be essential to keeping you occupied and healthy during the anticipated lockdown, knowing rooms are often small, here is a handy 16 Minute Low Impact coaching video to help you stay in shape.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Things To Do For Children in Emergency 

Free YouTube Childrens Play Sessions

Ragdolly Annas For Kids Play at Home

Check our their channel to subscribe to latest videos Great Idea and Free!

100+ Indoor Activities for Kids (and Adults)

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Help Others

Stay safe all and remember you cant help others unless you help yourself first.

Daniel x

Baron Homes: Secrets, Lies & Revenge Evictions.

Back in May I exposed the links between Baron Homes Corporation Limited, Panama Papers, Tax Evasion and the Robbery of the State.

Who Are Baron Homes Corporation Limited?

Set up in the 90’s after the conservative government introduced the Right to Buy Scheme Company No: 02930345. Baron Homes are everywhere to be found in Brighton and Hove today and have enough assets to launch legal action anytime someone speaks out.

I don’t have a pot to piss in, excuse the expression!

Since this company have been in operation, we have seen a huge rise in the private rental sector, the sale and loss of many council owned homes in Brighton and Hove, a huge rise in homelessness and the rise of the Private Sector taking ownership of Temporary and Emergency Accommodation.

The below image is just one example of linked companies buying up council assets for redevelopment into luxory accommodation, now a 1 bed is on the market for £950pcm – This compares to the average homemove rent of £300pcm.

Image of Building
Baron Estates Ex Brighton and Hove City Council Building Redevelopment

The Hidden Homeless: File on 4 BBC Radio Documentary

Last night the BBC broadcast  a 40 minute documentary focusing on the impact of living in Temporary Accommodation, the reasons for this including the sale of council owned properties and companies acting like cartels.

Listen to the file on 4 current affairs hidden homeless documentary based partially on my campaigning and Brighton and Hove.

Latest government figures show councils in England took on 15,000 new homeless households between April and June this year – a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.

Terri and Angela two single mothers living in Windsor Court, Windsor Street Brighton, contacted the BBC regarding issues relating to the accommodation and to explain why Emergency Services are onsite, as reported by BBC Sussex a few weeks back.

Within days of this the mothers faced reprisals for speaking out, what they call as a targeted revenge eviction from Baron Homes.

Meet Terri who was quickly evicted by Baron Homes and removed from Brighton and Hove

Family Hit By Revenge Eviction
Terri fears reprisals so has asked I not Identify Kane for security reasons

Initially Ben Weisz Political Reporter from the BBC visited Terri at the notorious Baron Homes Accommodation known as Windsor Court, to discuss the number of Ambulance Callouts for the Property, which as you can see has jumped to about 2 per week in 2016.

Ambulance Dispatches Emergency Accommodation Brighton and Hove

On the 18th October 2016 another BBC Journalist Simon Cox contacted the family as part of a documentary around Hidden Homelessness, Terri wanted to speak out and help educate the wider public on what life is like living in Emergency Accommodation as a single mother.

Terri states – The caretaker from Baron Homes forced entry to flat 17 where we then were, and aggressively removed Simon Cox to the extreme of seeing him out the building.

Terri explained that at that time, there was nothing to written within the contract about not allowing media visitors at Windsor Court. Residents are allowed visitors during set times.

The next day 19th October 2016 Terri explains that she came home at 12:45pm to find her flat had been entered without prior notification or knowledge. She explains  that during bad weather the door window pane was broken, and whilst she was unhappy they had entered her flat without prior notice, that getting it fixed was more important.

Then Terri explains – 

The glass company contracted out by Baron Homes had decided to shave and cut the glass in my home, glass was all over my carpet and they clearly didn’t use dust sheets leaving glass shavings all over the entrance.

I rang Baron Homes and asked them to send someone out about this as I was now very upset whilst waiting for Baron Homes to arrive, I also called the Brighton and Hove City Council being placed on hold.

Terri then states that at around 13:03pm, she saw over her balcony Matt the Baron Homes Caretaker arriving alone, she says there was something different about him so ran to the second floor, then down to the first floor to meet Matt.

She explains that whilst on hold and on loud speaker, Matt started taking photos and then the council advisor answered saying “we are sorry about the wait”. Matt hears that Terri is on the phone to Brighton and Hove City Council.

Terri States –

He realises I’m ringing the council, he said – “you’re not still ringing the council are you?” I said,  ‘well yes, I didn’t know this was happening and they’ve left my home in a mess and its dangerous,’

The Caretaker said sarcastically “you have a hoover don’t you?” Terri said “it’s not my job to clean that, it should not be there!”

The Caretaker walks back from the lift door, and says

Terri I’m talking to you as a friend, if you ring the council and complain I will tell Baron Homes you broke the glass yourself and you’ll have to pay £75. so Terri said “so you want to blackmail me? The Caretaker stated “No I’m talking to you as a friend, you complain and I tell them you lied”

Terri states that a week prior another caretaker called Ali informed the council officers who were doing an inspection of the property that the glass was broken by the wind.

Then Terri explains she said if Matt explains she broke this, that he would look stupid as it had already been reported as an accident.

The Caretaker Said to Terri “don’t call me stupid you fat bitch, I’ll kick you out then” Terri said “how are you going doing that though Matt? I’ve done nothing wrong, but come home to get pissed off and have you try blackmail and now threaten me? Are you joking?

Matt now moves forward backing me to the wall, I can smell the coffee on his breathe “hang up the phone!” (At this point two BLACK men open the door from 17 seeing matt backing me to the wall) Matt noticed them alerting me I shout, (Help! Can you hear this he’s blackmailing me!) Matt perks up shut up you stupid bitch ” the two men shout what’s going on? And Matt walks now towards them, I shout so now two MEN are here you want to walk away?

Angry because I was intimidated I called him a pussy and  I shouted at him how dare he scare me and my child who was stood between us the whole time and then walk away when men come out because your behaving wrong! Are you joking come on don’t be shy now I shouted, as he walked down the stairs instead of answering me he simply shouts “shut up you stupid bitch your a liar, she’s a liar everybody”

Terri says – Now shaking and scared senseless I grab my son and keys and walk out to the front of the building in hope to catch the two men who had interrupted. As I left they were there, they asked me if I was okay and we had started to discuss what had happened.

Finally the Male council staff member answered around 13:15pm she states the Caretaker saw her speaking to the council officer and shouted ‘oi’ then said “just remember who they believe”. then passed her a room cancellation notice.

Terri States the Council staff member asked her to come down to the council. By the time she got there, she states her son was traumatised by the incident and wouldn’t take his hands away from his eyes.

She states that Baron Homes contacted the council made an allegation of 4 separate racially abusive incidents which was the reason they cancelled her room – Also they said because she didn’t pay for the window, which she didn’t break.

I have asked Terri if she had received any previous warnings in writing and she has stated no, Terri refutes the allegations and in fact defiantly went to the police station to report the incident with the caretaker. Which they couldn’t take further due to no evidence.

I contacted another resident who jumped at the defence of Terri and said

My neighbour has been evicted with just less than 24hrs notice.. On grounds of racism.. She’s not racist. Baron homes told the council that she has had 4 complaints of abuse towards contractors and abuse and racism towards staff.

She spoke to simon cox yesterday and again today after what happened . She made a complaint about her door being fixed without prior notice. The caretaker gave key to glazier who left glass shavings on her floor. She wants to make this even more public via

She has a four year old son. Cant believe they are doing this.

Whats happened to Terri?

She says – I’m now living in Seaford paying £40 a fortnight to get my son to nursery just so he can keep some stability! My son wouldn’t come home for days he was too scared.

I’m in a nice place it’s warm and clean, however I can’t have a Christmas tree for the second year running. Only difference this year is I can not allow anyone to buy him presents. For where am I to put them? I haven’t the room my whole life is now in boxes and bags in the corner of my now home.

I can’t unpack I can’t plan. I just have to go day by day wondering when I’ll get moved.

When did standing up for my rights actually do anything? I mean is having a voice in today’s world worth it. I mean all it’s done to me is take my home away.,Force me and my son into sharing a bed with no ability to watch tv on a sofa again.

I’ve had not a seat to sit on since February this year when I was moved into flat 6 from mouldy 45 which was large compared to my sorry state smaller flat, flat 6.

My son is four he is doing really well at school but this shit just keeps setting him back and me.

I have PTSD, I’m unwell and have been forced to moved again, to pack my life up in less then 24 hours and even had to move myself with no help to Seaford.

It took nearly the whole year to get better after the stress of last year to the point I had key workers coming from left right and centre.

Now I can’t say next year won’t start the same as this one. When will I get my forever home? When will my son get to be a child and have a home and normal bed time and routine. He’s the one that’s been punished not me!

I haven’t lost anything I have him, but for him, he loses friends relationships he’s built will suffer and have to be rebuilt eventually. It disturbs his behaviour at home he punishes me. He suffers not I! So why can’t they see that. Do what you like to me, my baby, boy you best keep praying cause I won’t stop I will rectify what my son has been through no matter what.

There are almost 2000 children living in temporary accommodation in Brighton and Hove, this the story of one. I know who I believe, especially with all the other reports about Baron Homes that I’ve been shown. Make your own mind up and remember if you haven’t already listen to Terri yourself. 

What Is Your Emergency Accommodation Hell

ETHRAG – The Emergency and Temporary Housing Residents Action Group based in Brighton and Hove, have been in contact with a filmmaker who is doing a documentary on the dismantling of social housing  and effects on peoples lives.

If you live in Emergency Accommodation in Brighton and Hove then this affects you, I really want to highlight what is it like living in Emergency Accommodation, in Brighton and Hove in the last 2 years £4om has been spent paying private limited companies and individuals  to house the vulnerable.

I am look for people who want to speak out, either on firm by getting involved in future ETHRAG projects or anonymously. You are welcome to submit your story by emailing with your story alternatively we can meet for an informal chat.

This is about humanising the effects that not having secure council housing and how this is affecting our lives.

Are You A Care Leaver?

I am concerned that there are young care leavers under the age of 21 in Emergency Accommodation or even homeless and sofa surfing, as a care leaver myself I want to highlight your issues to help get you into the right accommodation.

Mentally Or Physically Disabled

The standards in Emergency Accommodation can at times be shocking, how does this affect you if you have a Mental, Physical or even Learning Disability? visitors are often not allowed, lifts break down, there are lack of lifts and many stairs, how does the isolation affect you? I am really concerned that the affects of living in Emergency Accommodation is actually making peoples health worse in some instances.

Are You Living With A Terminal Illness?

I have heard reports that there are people living with a terminal illness living in Emergency Accommodation, I think is this unacceptable and strips the vulnerable of dignity. Is this something you can associate with? Contact me with your story.

Have You Simply Had Enough?

Fire alarms, leaks, smells, lack of cooking facilities, neglect, depressed, tired, hungry, in recovery whatever the reason, I understand. Why not put into words why you have had enough, the council aren’t listening and I think its time we all start to take a little more ownership and share our stories. You can read on this blog that I’ve reported much, nut now I need you.

We are hoping to start a new project based on these stories which will give you even more opportunities to get involved and contribute, there is much that needs to be done, but I promise you that things are starting to become public and this is putting much pressure on polititions, landlords, businesses, Dr’s and many other key people involved in changing things for the better.

Again you can email me with your stories or if you want to meet up informally. You can also add me on social media. Facebook, Twitter